Lockdown: What you can and can't do

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All four UK nations are continuing to loosen their lockdown measures to allow people more freedom.

However, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland differ from each other as they make their own decisions on what can be eased - and nobody can move across borders yet.

Each government's measures need to be reviewed every three weeks by law and are each based on scientific advice, such as keeping "the R number" below one.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said England's "national hibernation" was coming to an end as he announced the two-metre social distancing rule will be reduced when pubs, restaurants and hotels open from July.

However, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said there are no plans to relax the two-metre social distancing rule in Scotland for now.

Sky News is keeping track of the rules for all four nations.


Mr Johnson's "conditional plan" for easing the coronavirus lockdown in England previously set out three phases.

The slogan of "stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives" was changed to "stay alert, control the virus, save lives".

On 23 June, Mr Johnson gave his latest update on what restrictions will be lifted from 4 July, as he said the government's approach was to "trust the British public to use their common sense in the full knowledge of the risks".

From 4 July:

  • The two-metre social distancing rule will be reduced to "one-metre plus"
  • Pubs and restaurants can reopen but will have to take the names and contact details of customers in case they need to be reached as part of the government's test and trace programme
  • People will be allowed to stay overnight at hotels, bed and breakfasts and campsites
  • Hairdressers and barbers can reopen
  • Community centres and bingo halls will be permitted to reopen
  • Wedding services of up to 30 people will be allowed, provided social distancing is maintained, with places of worship permitted to reopen
  • Outdoor gyms and playgrounds can be used
  • All reopened premises will have to introduce a range of safety measures to ensure they are "COVID secure"
  • Gatherings of two different households can take place indoors, providing social distancing is maintained, meaning families will be reunited and dinner parties will be allowed. People are however still advised to limit the time they spend with others
  • Most leisure facilities and tourist attractions can reopen

What restrictions are still in place?

  • People still can't hug their loved ones
  • Theatres and concert halls can begin operating, but cannot stage live performances
  • Nightclubs, indoor gyms and beauty salons must remain closed "for now"
  • Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the government is hoping to reopen gyms and leisure centres in mid-July
  • Spas, casinos, nail bars, tattoo parlours, massage parlours, soft play areas, swimming pools, bowling alleys and water parks cannot reopen

What people could already do before:

  • Gather in groups of up to six people in public or private outdoor spaces, as long as social distancing was practised
  • Visit non-essential shops
  • Play sports such as tennis and football with the people that they meet, but only if it is possible to keep a two-metre distance
  • Return to school if they are in reception, Year 1, Year 6 or of nursery age - despite teaching unions expressing serious doubts
  • Meet loved ones if they had been "shielding" from the virus
  • Visit outdoor retail spaces such as outdoor markets and car showrooms where social distancing can be observed
  • Return home from university if it was a permanent move
  • Go to property viewings in person and visit agents for both sales and rentals
  • Invite nannies and childminders to come to their house to look after children, provided good public health measures are adhered to
  • Form a "support bubble" with one other household - meeting inside and staying overnight - if they live alone or are a single parent with a child under 18


The government introduced fines for breaking lockdown rules in March which later increased from £60 to £100. Repeat offenders will see the fine double for each subsequent breach to a maximum of £3,200.

Advice for over 70s and the vulnerable:

Millions of people "shielding" during the coronavirus outbreak will be able to meet six others from outside their home from 6 July.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the change will apply in England for those deemed clinically "extremely vulnerable".

They will no longer have to shield from 1 August - but the government says support from the NHS volunteer scheme and local councils will remain in place.


First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the two-metre social distancing rule will remain in place in Scotland for now.

However, Scotland has asked its scientific advisory group to review the measure and the findings are expected to be reported by 2 July.

Ms Sturgeon said there is "no date" for reopening beer gardens and outdoors spaces at restaurants

The first minister has earlier announced Scotland's lockdown would be relaxed in a four-phase "route map".

The country transitioned to phase two of its four-step plan on 19 June.

Scotland's latest lockdown advice:

  • People who live on their own or only with children under 18 have been able to form an "extended household group". This means they can meet indoors without social distancing and can stay overnight
  • Scots can meet two other households at the same time while outside - up to a maximum of eight people
  • People have been able to go inside to use the toilet when meeting in someone else's garden
  • Anyone leaving home should stay within a roughly five-mile radius of their home for recreational purposes
  • Anyone shielding can go outside for exercise. They can also meet people from one other household - maintaining social distancing
  • Face coverings are mandatory on public transport in Scotland
  • Dentists have also been able to open
  • Professional sport has been allowed to resume and places of worship have been able to reopen - although only for individual prayer and not services

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From 29 June:

  • Outdoor markets, playgrounds and sports facilities will reopen
  • Zoos and other attractions will also open, but people should not travel more than five miles from their homes and tickets should be bought in advance

Since 29 May, the new rules have been:

  • Up to eight people from two households have been able to gather outdoors, as long as people are social distancing
  • People have been able to sit and sunbathe outdoors
  • Non-contact sports like golf, fishing, bowls, outdoor swimming, canoeing and tennis are allowed
  • People are able to travel - preferably walk or cycle - to carry out activities, but they should try to stay close to home
  • Recycling and waste services have resumed
  • Outdoor industries like agriculture and construction have resumed
  • Garden centres have been allowed to open - but none of their cafes
  • Some services like social work resumed
  • Some parts of the criminal justice system resumed


The Welsh government has announced a three-week cycle of further changes from 22 June.

Mark Drakeford, the first minister, has also told the tourism sector it can prepare to reopen, and take bookings for stays beginning on the 13 July.

From 22 June:

  • All non-essential retail can open within social distancing guidelines
  • Private prayer can take place in places of worship
  • Childcare facilities can begin to reopen
  • House viewings can take place and postponed property sales can be completed

From 29 June:

Some pupils will be able to return to school to catch up on work and prepare for September

From 6 July:

People will be able to travel freely throughout Wales for any reason

Existing measures:

  • People from two different households in the same local area can meet up outdoors, but they must continue to maintain social distancing and strict hand hygiene
  • They must also stay local, meaning they mustn't - as a general rule - travel more than five miles from home
  • Exceptions will be people travelling to work, to seek care or shopping for essentials if they aren't available locally
  • Vulnerable people who have been "shielding" from the virus have been advised they can exercise at times that are not too busy
  • People could carry out unlimited exercise outdoors but must "stay local", starting and ending at home and only with people from their household - with a quick break to eat something
  • Garden centres can reopen
  • Recycling centres and libraries can open


The Northern Ireland Executive has a five-stage "pathway to recovery" plan for easing its lockdown.

The latest lockdown advice in Northern Ireland:

  • Caravan parks, campsites and self-contained tourist accommodation will be able to reopen from 26 June
  • Pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, cafes and coffee shops can reopen from 3 July
  • Indoor pubs and bars opening on that date will have to primarily function as restaurants and offer substantial meals with table service
  • Hair salons, barbers and nail bars can reopen on 6 July
  • Schools in Northern Ireland will have a social distancing rule of one metre rather than two metres when they reopen in August
  • Groups of up to six people who do not share a household are allowed to meet outdoors two metres apart
  • Garden and recycling centres have reopened
  • Places of worship are open for private prayer, while drive-in church services and cinemas are allowed
  • Non-contact outdoor activities are allowed, including fishing, golf, tennis and some water sports
  • No restrictions on private travel, as long as it is in Northern Ireland
  • Use face coverings if you cannot social distance

Sky News

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